What kind of insurance claims can be expected during the winter months?
At this time of year, temperatures are dropping below freezing and the nights grow longer. This is the season when the chilly temperatures and inclement weather can cause chaos and damage our homes, even lead to injury.
The frequency and severity of winter storms have increased over the past several decades. They bring wind, hail, and significant snowfall which can cause significant property damage.
This, in turn, leads to an insurance claim being filed.
Below are some of the most common insurance claims made during winter and simple ways which help avoid property damage and therefore having to make an insurance claim.
High winds are the leading cause of winter insurance claims. It is estimated that 1 in 35 claims on homeowner’s insurance is due to wind.
Most home insurance policies cover wind damage unless there is an exception stated in the policy, so it is important to be certain that you are covered, preferably before a claim needs to be made.
Yearly checks for loose roofing tiles and siding, as well as putting away any unsecured patio furniture are some useful ways to avoid property damage caused by high winds.
With high, chill winds comes hail which is the second most likely cause of winter insurance claims. Hail can damage houses as well as automobiles.
Like wind damage, some homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover hail damage so it’s important to make sure you are fully covered.
“Repairing loose shingles can also help prevent damage caused by hail. If you live in an area that has a lot of hailstorms, having hail resistant asphalt shingles installed is another great way to be prepared for hail.
When the temperatures stay below freezing, water left inside any uninsulated pipes freezes. This expands and can potentially burst the pipes causing water loss and water leaks.
This causes significant indoor property damage.
Some insurers cover pipe damage but only when there are no signs of negligence. It is important to drain all hosepipes and insulating pipes in unheated spaces.
This will help keep your property safe from water damage and avoid claiming on your insurance.
Heavy snow and ice.
Too much snow on your roof can cause damage.
It can even cause the roof to collapse under the weight of the snow.
Also, heavy snow can cause nearby trees to fall or branches to give way under the excess, causing damage to any nearby buildings.
When ice builds up inside gutters, it can cause Ice-damming which in turn can cause water to seep in your roof and ceiling, causing water damage.
Claims are often made due to these problems. Making sure the gutters stay unblocked and rooves get cleared of snow regularly throughout the winter helps homeowners avoid roof collapses.
Due to the cold, a lot of homeowners turn to space heaters and fireplaces to help keep the winter chill out.
Space heaters caused 44% of fires between 2012-2016. Another 32% of fires were caused by chimneys and fireplaces.
“Using space heaters properly and regular yearly maintenance of fireplaces and chimneys will help prevent homes from fire and smoke damage Most homeowner’s insurance will cover fire damage however, if the fire is found to have been set intentionally, the insurance company will not pay-out,” explains Natalie Gordons, a writer at UKWritings and Essay Services.
Slips and Falls
With freezing temperatures, comes icy driveways and sidewalks making it treacherous to walk around outside your home.
If people are injured from slipping on your property, you can be held liable and sued.
Keeping your driveway salted and cleared after it snows are all excellent ways to prevent injury to others. Also, make sure you are fully covered with homeowner’s liability insurance.
These are the most frequent claims made by homeowners during winter.
It is important to note that not all policies will cover these common problems and having the right insurance with the necessary coverage is essential.
Taking several preventative measures will also help protect your property from any damage during the winter months.
Katherine Rundell is a freelance writer at Assignment Writing Service and Big Assignments. She started freelancing after losing her job in the 2008 crash and it turned out to have been the best thing to happen in her career. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and two cats. Also, she is a manager at Boomessays Review.